Preparing for February 14 {This might not be what you think}

February 14 does not mean the same thing to me as it does to most of you. For my entire life, it has been a special day but not because of red hearts, roses and chocolates. You will have to wait a couple of days to find out why.

However, the greater population of the developed world puts a whole lot of emphasis AND money on this day to profess love to their friends, family and even the odd un-requited love story.  Sappy-ness seems to take over the airwaves on radio and TV.  Walking into any store you are bombarded with red, pink; stuffed, sweet and pricey.

Meh.  I’m good without all that. In fact, if you’re one of these women who forces her husband or boyfriend to show up with some fancy piece of jewelry that he can’t afford, doesn’t really want to give you or feels obligated to give…you and I probably aren’t going to be friends.

If you’re the kind of lady who absolutely won’t accept grocery store roses, cardboard box chocolates and a dollar store card…well, we’re pretty likely not to be friends.  If the success of Valentine’s Day is measured in dollars spent and high expectations for fancy dinners and lots of hype we FOR SURE will never be friends.  I just can’t stomach all of that pressure.  I feel bad for guys who look so lost in department stores looking for “THAT THING” that’s going to make the woman swoon. I want to go up to them and tell them “if she’s really worth it, just give her your heart” .  Because, isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is?  Isn’t that why little 8 year old boys colour their best heart-shaped card and sneak it to the little freckled girl in the 2nd row?   Love.  Hmmmmm.

I can confidently say that I have never put that sort of pressure on my husband , nor would I ever want to. It is JUST AS MUCH my duty to go out of my way for him and show him love and honor and respect regardless of what I may or may not get in return.  Love should be given freely, without strings attached, without expectations, without the promise of any return on investment.  Love makes your heart swell and gives you energy.  It doesn’t knock you down and punch you again for getting the WRONG size, WRONG colour, WRONG style, WRONG price tag.  And it shouldn’t make you worry for rejection.

Our Valentine’s Day history is varied. I have to say, my husband does a better job at surprising and woo-ing me than I do to him.  He has ordered roses to be delivered while he was away in Africa(that was pretty extravagant I must say).  He has left me little notes and small gifts that have little to no value or meaning to anyone else but meant the world to me.  One year while away, he had pre-purchased a cheesey department store gimmicky toy: 2 monkeys on a motorcycle singing “I’m just a love machine and I won’t work for nobody but you”…that one made me laugh.    Some years, I get nothing and I give nothing and you know what? I still love him. He still loves me. No one has their nose out of joint.  We don’t worry about it, dwell on it~it doesn’t define our marriage or our love.

This year, money is tighter than it’s been in years.  Distance has separated us to the point where there won’t be any surprises.  It’s not going to affect our relationship.  If anything, distance has pushed us to be more careful with the time we have together.  We also text a whole lot more~little love snipits throughout the days.   Keeping our love fresh and growing is all we need. Cards, flowers, jewelry and chocolates may mean something to other people but I much prefer the feeling of seeing my husband walk through the door at the end of a long day of work.

I would take lying beside him in bed every night for the rest of my life over  getting roses again.  I will cherish his voice, his touch, his embrace, his laugh over and above any sentimental poem, card or love token.  For us, love is real.  Love is not a package.  Love is not a toy.  Love cannot be measured by a dollar value or the number of stars behind a restaurant listing.

Valentine’s Day…..it’s February 14.  It’s not the end or the beginning of love .  It’s just a day and you can make it just as special as any other day if you tell the one you love how much they mean to you.

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